PUEBLO, Colo. – Cody Teel may be making his Las Vegas PBR debut this weekend at Last Cowboy Standing, but the current PBR Rookie of the Year leader is no stranger to the neon lights and the grandiose stage of The Strip.
Teel not only won the 2012 PRCA bull riding title inside the Thomas & Mack Center, which is a mere two miles from the Las Vegas Village – the outdoor location for Last Cowboy Standing – but the 24-year-old has also won the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo bull riding event average in 2013 and 2015.
Overall, Teel is 24-for-44 (54.55 percent) in five previous trips to the NFR, and he will now get to showcase his talents for the first time at a PBR event in Las Vegas.
“I am really excited to get to go to Vegas and ride with the PBR,” Teel said. “I rode in that arena (Las Vegas Village) last year at the rodeo there and just the setup where it is at, right there in the middle of Vegas, and then outdoors too, is a really cool atmosphere. Just being there at the rodeo, so I am excited to be there for Last Cowboy Standing.”
Teel, who “did no good” at the rodeo last year, is once again slated to compete at the Helldorado Days Rodeo on Saturday. Also scheduled to compete are No. 4 Derek Kolbaba, No. 13 Shane Proctor and No. 41 Brennon Eldred.
Teel is looking forward to getting another crack at the PBR’s unique bull riding format.
The Kountze, Texas, bull rider made his PBR debut at Iron Cowboy this past February and was eliminated from the Last Cowboy Standing-formatted event in Round 2 by 2016 World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser.
Last Cowboy Standing is a minimum of two rounds and a maximum of five. At least 25 riders will advance to Round 2, with any draw spots being filled by the current world standings heading into Last Cowboy Standing if there are less than 25 rides in Round 1.
If all riders buck off in Rounds 2, 3 or 4, then all riders that attempted a bull advance to the next round.
If there is more than one ride in the final round (Round 5), then the Last Cowboy Standing will be the rider with the highest-ride score in Round 5. If there are no rides in Round 5, then the Last Cowboy Standing will be the rider with the most round points that had competed in Round 5.
The event winner of the third PBR Major of the season will earn a minimum of $100,000 and 625 points toward the world standings.
Each round winner earns 125 points toward the world standings, as well.
“I am excited for the format and being in Vegas,” Teel said. “I am looking forward to it. I just need to keep on doing what I am doing. I need to be prepared as physically as possible to take the wear and tear that comes with that. That is all you can do. Take it one bull at a time out there.”
There is no better place than Las Vegas to ride bulls, Teel added.
It is where the biggest bull ridings and rodeos happen every year,” Teel said. “For any bull rider it is a special place. This is where big memories can be made and have happened. When you do good in Vegas, your name is put down in the history books.”
Teel is scheduled to take on Gangsta Roll (0-1, BFTS) in Round 1.
Fans can watch all of Round 1 on CBS Sports Network beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Teel ranks seventh in the PBR for riding percentage (43.48 percent).
The No. 14 rider in the world standings is one of four rookies that are in the Top 10 in riding percentage this year.
The name of the game at Last Cowboy Standing is simply make 8 seconds, and Teel has so far done a pretty good job of doing just that.
Fellow rookie No. 18 Dener Barbosa is tied with No. 2 Kaique Pacheco for second in the PBR with a 50-percent riding average.
Barbosa is 19-for-38 through 13 events and will arrive in Las Vegas fresh off a 3-for-3 victory at the Cactus Jack PBR Bull Riding Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour event last weekend in Uvalde, Texas.
Like Teel, Barbosa is also no stranger to success in Las Vegas.
Barbosa earned his first PBR World Finals qualification last year by going 2-for-4 at the 2016 Velocity Tour Finals. The 2016 PBR Brazil champion then rode three consecutive bulls at the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals, beginning with an 87.5-point ride on Stone Sober.
The 23-year-old has drawn Mustache Sally (2-2, BFTS) for Round 1 on Friday night.
No. 15 Claudio Montanha Jr. is fourth in riding percentage (46.88 percent) and will be competing for the first time in Las Vegas. So too is No. 23 Luciano de Castro, who is eighth in riding percentage (43.33 percent).
Montanha will square off against Blaze of Glory (2-0, BFTS) in Round 1, while Castro has a date with Paleface.
Here is the full list of first-time competitors at Last Cowboy Standing
No. 14 Cody Teel
No. 15 Claudio Montanha Jr.
No. 18 Dener Barbosa
No. 23 Luciano de Castro
No. 27 Koal Livingston
No. 37 Alex Marcilio
No. 40 Jake Gowdy
No. 41 Brennon Eldred
No. 57 Jesse Tillman
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